Henry Clay Frick II, MD

Henry Clay Frick II


Clay Frick, Columbia University Professor of Medicine, and Trustee and one-time Board President of his family’s New York Frick Museum died at the age of 87.

Dr. Frick began his affiliation with Columbia in 1941 as a student in the College of Physicians and Surgeons. After graduation in 1944 he served as an Army captain in post-World War II Germany.  He later served as a volunteer field surgeon in Vietnam.   On his return, he then completed his residency at the Sloane Hospital for Women at The Presbyterian Hospital and was appointed to the Faculty in 1955.  With successive promotions he was named Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1971.

For twenty years Dr. Frick worked closely with terminally ill cancer patients serving as Co-Director in Gynecology from 1968 to 1975.  He served as Director of the Department’s Oncology Division; he was a member of several important Hospital Committees, and was a member of The Presbyterian Hospital’s Medical Board.  For many years he directed the Gynecologic Oncology Clinic and taught gynecologic oncology to the Resident Staff.  He was an outstanding physician and ran the OB/GYN Tumor Registry.  He authored more than 40 articles concerning the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancer, particularly in the area of treatment with potential complications.  Clay was a member of a small group of prestigious Societies including AGOS, New York Academy of Medicine, The Harvey Society, New York GYN Society, New York OB Society, Society of Pelvic Surgeons and others. He retired from active practice in 1985.

Concomitant with his remarkable medical career, Clay Frick, as President and Trustee of the Frick Collection, oversaw the acquisition of many important works of art and the merger between the Frick Collection and the Frick Art Reference Library.  Clay was a naturalist, fascinated by wildlife, and was a trustee of prominent wildlife conservation and research institutions including the Wildlife Conservation Society and the American Museum of Natural History. 

Dr. Frick was widely recognized in his field of medicine for his outstanding accomplishments. He was well respected and loved by his colleagues.  His love of medicine together with his love and interest in art describes a unique, intellectual human being.  He is survived by his wife, Emily duPont Frick, four children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Submitted by Mary E. D’Alton, MD

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